The more experienced of the pair I was with was intent upon finding not only the Summer Tanager, but also a Nashville Warbler. There was quite a bit of activity in the apple tree up on the hill where tower is, I saw something small and gray with yellow on it and got excited thinking it was the Nashville Warbler. I tried taking a few pictures to help me ID it, and unfortunately it looks like it's a female Parula. The wing bars are a dead giveaway:
As I mentioned, this was my first time using binoculars and it's great because you have an unbelievable view of the birds; however, if you're a novice like me you can have a hard time keeping track of what you've seen.
Here are some birds I saw yesterday. This list may seem kind of short for a trip to Mt. Auburn during peak migration time, but I want to be truthful and only include birds that I actually was able to locate and identify as they were called out to me by my team members. There were many cases where they were described to me but I was never able to locate them with my binoculars.
- Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak (near the Dell)
- Eastern Towhee (seen in the apple tree)
- Juvenile Red-tailed hawk eating a mouse (in a tree right by the front gates, being harassed by blue jays the whole time)
- Blackpoll Warbler (looks just like a chickadee with stripes)
- American Redstart (I became quite familiar with these as the day went on- they were so abundant there)
- Blue-headed Vireo
- Juvenile Baltimore Oriole (the black on its head was very splotchy so I didn't recognize it at first- this guy was hopping around on the path up on Indian Ridge)
- Female Black-throated Blue Warbler (I saw her down by Auburn Lake- the most distinguishing characteristic was the small patch on her wings)
- Ovenbird (rustling around in the leaves just off one of the paths around the Dell)
And last but not least:
- Cedar Waxwing (I spotted a male hanging off the lower branches of an oak when we were on our way out for the day- this was exciting because it was a lifer for me and I was also able to call the attention of my team members, who hadn't counted one yet for the Bird-a-thon. And I probably wouldn't have noticed it if it weren't for my mother Carol, also an avid bird-watcher, who spotted one in her yard on the Cape a few weeks ago. She was excited to show it to me in her Peterson's Guide and the image stuck with me. They're just as beautiful as she said they are!)
I couldn't get enough so I made a return trip the very next day!